It’s not an exaggeration to say that most big cities in the United States are destinations for migrants. While immigrants make up 16.6% of the urban population, rural America has also experienced an influx of migrants accounting for 4.8% of the rural population. But even though these individuals have a positive impact on their local communities, they are faced with their own set of unique challenges.
Considering the difficulties of obtaining an interpreter in these areas, language barriers are arguably the biggest challenge that migrants living in rural communities face. Thankfully, innovations such as over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) have made it easy for members of immigrant communities in rural locations to acquire language services.
Bridging The Gap in Rural Communities: Why Professional Interpreting Services Matter
Around 90% of immigrants in the United States reside in urban areas, leaving the remaining 10% to live in rural locations. Hispanics make up the vast majority of rural immigrants and the next largest groups would be non-Hispanic whites, Asians, and non-Hispanic blacks.
Rural immigrants also tend to have lower levels of educational attainment and only two-thirds of rural immigrants have acquired a high school diploma or less. Because of this, they are more likely to live in poverty compared to their urban counterparts, making it difficult for them to acquire essential services and engage with their communities. But despite their educational and income disparities, both rural and urban immigrants exhibit similar English proficiency rates and this greatly emphasizes their need for professional interpreting services.
Rural communities sometimes become the location for asylum seekers and refugees following foreign conflict. This leads to large populations of non-English and often non-Spanish speaking people needing language services. Fortunately, partnering with professional interpreters has allowed them to integrate successfully into their communities.
How Telephone Interpreting Services Bridge Language Gaps
The resources available in rural communities are extremely limited and rural immigrant populations are significantly smaller than their metropolitan counterparts. These two factors combined create unique challenges for language access given that there are only a few interpreters available in these areas.
Lack of access to interpreters could be tough for immigrants who have a rare primary language and this may cause challenges for them as they engage with their communities. Hiring an on-site interpreter whether for healthcare or legal purposes can help but there’s no denying that doing so is costly and will require extensive planning. Instead of paying for their transportation costs or traveling to a nearby urban community for language services, over-the-phone interpretation serves as a more efficient solution.
Provides Access to Language Support
Phone interpretation enables immigrants and refugees in rural communities to access essential services (i.e. medical appointments, legal consultations, etc). Since they may have difficulty communicating in English, a telephone interpreter service allows them to overcome language barriers with just a quick call. In turn, this allows them to seamlessly integrate into their community.
Makes Support More Affordable
Hiring an on-site interpreter for support in medical, legal, or educational interactions can be quite expensive. In addition to professional fees, travel-related expenses will add up to the total cost of services. Through telephone interpreting services, these additional costs are eliminated, helping immigrants or the nonprofits that support them access language services.
Expands Language Access
Today, OPI has opened the door for immigrant communities in rural areas by expanding the number of languages available for interpretation to over 300. The ease of use it provides makes it easy for rural immigrants to accurately exchange information with lawyers, public service providers, and doctors.
Ease of Use
Remote interpretation allows for quick and reliable access to language services in rural areas. Many language service providers offer on-demand access to a broad network of qualified interpreters so immigrants may use this service as needed. They can make a call at school for 5 minutes, hang up, then call back again in an hour for another 5-minute interaction.
The Role of Boostlingo’s Phone Interpreter Services
Boostlingo understands the unique needs of rural immigrant communities. Language barriers can be a great obstacle to both casual and sensitive encounters and this is especially true for those who have a rare language as their mother tongue. Fortunately, OPI serves as a solution to this issue.
With the help of our cutting-edge technology, we have revolutionized language access in rural areas by giving communities access to a globally distributed interpreter network. Thanks to the capabilities of intelligent routing, the users of our solutions can quickly connect with the appropriate interpreter through the Boostlingo Professional Interpreter Network (BPIN), ensuring effective communication across different endeavors.
As rural America continues to welcome immigrants, members of these communities need to have easy access to language services. In the coming years, OPI will continue to assert its relevance in rural locations by helping individuals overcome language barriers.
Thankfully, Boostlingo is here to help provide language services to rural areas to bridge the language gap. Partnering with us will mean quick and easy access to an extensive network of qualified interpreters. Would you want to give Boostlingo a try? Contact us today to book a demo!